Convey are an LA-based alternative rock band that recently released an intense new record, City of Skin and Bone. From the Zeppelin swagger of album opener “Devour” to the feral post-punk wail of “Terror,” each song found new teeth and venom. Even songs such as blues stomp “Crayon” to the aqueous title track lumbered to life from their distant back catalog. The ten songs that made the final track list represent not just a cathartic release of years of writing and refining but a daring stab at the future of rock. Stream City of Skin and Bone here: https://spoti.fi/35X35Hu
Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Really good! Thanks for having us.
Can you talk to us more about your single “The Way”?
The Way was largely inspired by the 2016 election cycle and observing the perversion of truth. There was a sudden shift where a very large portion of the public started to rely on a demagogue to define their reality rather than spend the time to seek it out themselves. It was like the genesis of a new religion, where we became so desperate for answers that only the most arrogant and unwavering prevailed. I think we all got an education on how cults are born.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Specifically, the advent of terms like “alternative facts” and “fake news”. But I would say the lunacy of the election in general.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
Music videos are always a pretty magical process for us, as we’re fortunate to have our good friend Ed Shiers at the helm handling all of the creative details. He’s largely in charge of not only finalizing the concept but also handling the technical production and post-production elements including directing, filming, and editing. I ended up playing a cult leader somewhere in between David Miscavige and Jim Jones, dosing the congregation with euphoria-inducing pills that eventually kills everyone as the dose increases. Everyone in the video was a personal friend of the band so the whole process was incredibly free and uninhibited.
The single comes off your new album City of Skin and Bone – what’s the story behind the title?
It’s basically a metaphor for isolation, largely inspired by moving to a new city and feeling like another cog in the wheel. In LA in particular it’s pretty common to have the feeling of being stripped down to nothing, hollowing out your insides to leaving you only skin and bones.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process is always divided in 4 – each member is responsible for his own instrument. The song can start with a bassline, riff, vocal, or beat and then the rest of us just react. Some songs are a little more painstaking and take weeks of piecing ideas together. Others get in finished in the course of the day and seem to write themselves. All of the writing is finalized before entering the studio.
What was it like to work with Jim Kaufman and how did that relationship develop?
Jim actually found us before producing our first EP. He was looking to develop a rock band and upon hearing his work we immediately knew it was a good fit. We were new to LA at the time and completely broke. Jim offered to produce our album on spec, which was a pretty crazy gamble.
How much did he get to influence the album?
I think all good producers have a major sonic footprint on all of their albums. Although the writing process was already finished, Jim was instrumental in engineering – choosing amps, mic placements, and co-mixing. I think Jim’s greatest asset however is the ability to get exceptional performances out of all of his players, pushing all of us to our highest potential. We got to record all of the songs live rather than overdubbing each part at a time and he was really able to capture the fire of what we do live in a recorded format. That can be a serious challenge.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Since everyone is responsible for their own part, I think we all derive inspiration from different personal experiences and observations. We listen to part or parts already written and that triggers something that we’re experiencing in the moment. The vocals/lyrics are no different in that way – it’s just my interpretation of what I’m hearing.
Any plans to hit the road?
We are currently in the middle of tour with the great Chevelle, providing direct support! This is our first major tour and it has been completely surreal. Check out the dates on our website/social media (if it isn’t too late by the time this comes out!). We’re hoping to play these markets again soon as well some festival dates in 2020. The audiences have been overwhelming and we are very fortunate little puppies.
What else is happening next in Convey’s world?
We are about to release the biggest video of our career, featuring the brilliant dancing and choreography of Merrick Hanna (America’s Got Talent runner-up). Without giving too much away, it’s our reaction to the escalating gun violence in this country, and I probably the most provocative piece of content we’ve ever released. We’ve also been writing a LOT of new material and are fortunate enough to be able to road test some new tunes! We’re hoping to get into the studio sooner rather than later.